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School year filled with plenty of memories

There are only a few more days left in the 2010-11 school year.

The sports scene in the Southern Crescent is down to its last two teams with Luella and Ola still alive in the baseball playoffs and several female athletes competing later this week in the track and field championships. For the last 10 months athletes in the Southern Crescent have been representing their schools in the all the Georgia High School Association sanctioned sports.

There has been plenty to write about with teams making deep playoff runs and spectacular individual performances throughout the school year.

As the high school sports scene winds down, I wanted to take a look back at some of the more memorable events that have shaped the school year:

1. Forest Park girls basketball: After reaching the Class AAAA semifinals with mostly underclassmen in 2009-10, much was expected of the Lady Panthers this past season. And they didn't disappoint. Forest Park did not lose to a team in the state until its final game, which happened to be the Class AAAA finals at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

After playing a subpar first half, the Lady Panthers made a huge comeback only to fall to Fayette County in a thrilling game. With several talented players returning this coming season, the Lady Panthers are expected to be back in the playoff hunt.

2. Jonesboro boys basketball: With only three seniors on the roster and eight sophomores, the Cardinals won the Region 4-AAAA championship and reached the Class AAAA semifinals. Jonesboro gave two-time defending state champion Miller Grove all it could handle before ending its season. Two seniors - Rasham Suarez (Georgia Southern) and James White (Arkansas-Little Rock) - led the Cardinals back to the semifinals for the first time since the 2004 season.

With a talented group of sophomores, the Cardinals seemed to be in position to make another long playoff run next season.

3. Marcus Hunt: Playing out of position the previous two seasons, the junior had a breakout season in leading the Eagles to the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs. The 6-foot-5 guard/forward averaged 26.2 points and 15 rebounds to garner several all-state teams. Hunt entered the season with several offers from mid-major colleges, but quickly began to make a name for himself, which has garnered several major offers. A 47-point effort against Jonesboro quickly pushed into the conversion for county player of the year honors.

With another solid summer, Hunt will be a candidate for state and classification player of the year awards.

4. Eagle's Landing Christian and Dutchtown football: Both these Henry County schools reached the quarterfinals of their respective classification. ELCA's playoff run was hardly surprising with a talented cast of players, including three Football Bowl Subdivision players on its roster, and an all-state running back. Dutchtown set a county public school record with 11 wins this season. ELCA went undefeated during the regular season and won its first Georgia High School Association region championship with a victory at Wesleyan.

5. Jonesboro volleyball: After dominating the volleyball scene in the Clayton County the last 10 years, the Cardinals had a breakout year on the state level. Jonesboro reached its first quarterfinals in the state playoffs. The Cardinals ended the season ranked No. 10 in the state.

After an incredible school year, I can hardly wait to see what 2011-12 will be like as far as high school sports in the Southern Crescent area.

Derrick Mahone covers sports for the Clayton News Daily and Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at dmahone@news-daily.com.